Last Updated on November 25, 2019
As NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere awaits sentencing in January for his convictions on sex trafficking, forced labor, and racketeering charges, insiders from Raniere’s inner circle are coming forward to tell the full story of the global child-trafficking operation based in Albany, New York. The deaths or disappearances of four women close to Raniere raise questions, and family members of the women are demanding answers.
Former members and employees of the NXIVM cult told National File that NXIVM was centrally involved in human smuggling from Central America and Mexico, that it practiced Luciferian Satanism, and that it communicated to the Clintons and other top politicians through emissaries employed by the cult. New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s lobbyist father was an employee and her stepmother, who also happens to be her first cousin, was an active member. The Dalai Lama was paid to give the cult credibility.
Ex-members describe the key role played by Emiliano Salinas, son of the former Mexican president Carlos Salinas de Gortari. The human experiments performed on children at the cult’s Rainbow Cultural Garden daycare centers — located in Central America, Mexico, the United States, and Europe – underscore the pain NXIVM inflicted on its helpless victims.
Raniere’s financier Clare Bronfman, daughter of Seagram liquor baron and Jeffrey Epstein friend and employer Edgar Bronfman, pleaded guilty to enabling credit card fraud and harboring an illegal immigrant. The cult’s president Nancy Salzman pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy. Actress Allison Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy. The cult leaders stored Chuck Schumer’s financial records – though the records were found to be at least mostly inaccurate — and Hillary Clinton’s emails, which they obtained by placing a key logger virus on Edgar Bronfman’s computer, for their own political purposes. Sara Bronfman, Clare’s sister and another cult leader, has not been charged.
“NXIVM, Keith Raniere and Clare Bronfman engaged in a wholesale racketeering enterprise which in large part was harboring illegal aliens for financial profit. The racket was: once they had them in, they engaged in fraud. They basically enslaved them,” Frank Parlato, a former consultant to NXIVM, told National File. Parlato set out to expose NXIVM and became the foremost whistleblower in the case, revealing that the cult was branding Raniere’s initials on women.
Parlato’s documentary “The Lost Women of NXIVM,” delving into the deaths or disappearances of four women linked to Raniere or the cult, premieres on Investigation Discovery on December 8 at 9 PM ET.
“When they filed the application for the visa, Clare Bronfman was the major perpetrator,” Parlato said of the cult’s immigration scam, noting that Bronfman would sign visa applications promising that illegal Mexican immigrants would make a certain amount of money. The cult would then stiff the immigrants out of some of the money.
“They did this 50 times,” Parlato said, based on his research.
“Clare Bronfman was on top of all the women they illegally brought. They could easily charge her with these crimes, and she could easily pay 20 to 30 million to get out of it. A lot of witnesses at the trial talked about the visa fraud. The Clinton bundling was mentioned in the trial,” Parlato said.
The cult’s Satanism and political activity were referenced in Raniere’s trial at Brooklyn federal court.
“Do you think the person who’s being branded should be held to the table, almost like a sacrifice? That’s a feeling of submission…It probably should be a more vulnerable position. Laying on the back, legs spread straight, held to the table. Hands above the head, probably held, almost like sacrificial,” Raniere stated on an audiotape, created by ex-cult member Allison Mack in 2017, which was played at the trial.
“Clare Bronfman approached other people and said she would like to make a campaign contribution but she couldn’t make it above a certain amount…I wrote a check. She paid me back,” ex-NXIVM member Mark Vicente testified, referring to a presidential campaign in 2008.
According to Parlato and an ex-member of the cult, that campaign was Hillary Clinton’s.
‘HE THOUGHT OF HIMSELF AS SATAN’
Albany native Heidi Hutchinson believes that Keith Raniere was involved in her sister Gina Hutchinson’s death by gunshot wound to the head.
“She died at the KTD Buddhist Monastery in Woodstock New York. It was ruled a suicide. There is evidence Keith had everything to do with it,” Hutchinson told National File.
“She was 14 years when he raped her. She was a neighborhood kid who got involved with The RPI Players (theater troupe) and Keith was over there on the pedophile prowl. My sister and another little girl were both raped by Keith, and my sister stayed on in the early days. She quit high school at Keith’s insistence,” Hutchinson told National File.
“We were Mormon and after my sister had sex with Keith, our family considered them betrothed or engaged. Keith went along with that,” Hutchinson said. “He began to learn about the Mormon religion and he twisted everything.”
“The whole concept of the fall of man and Lucifer based on Milton’s Paradise Lost” is what appealed to Raniere spiritually, Hutchinson said.
“I think he thought of himself as Satan. Lucifer in the Mormon view is the brightest angel of Heaven who fell from the grace of God, so this is all Mormon doctrine that Keith adopted and then used as a tool to manipulate Mormon girls.”
“He brought LeBaron girls from Mexico. They were Mormon,” Hutchinson said, referring to the LeBaron family living in a Mormon territory in Mexico. Raniere used some of the LeBaron girls as servants. Nine women and children from the LeBaron sect were killed in a likely cartel ambush this month in Mexico.
“The Mormon girls were all virgins. He preyed on the Mormon virgins because it was the most destructive thing he could do and they were easy prey in that they believe in following a male figure, a Christ-like figure.”
“He used the whole Luciferian concept. Basically I think he came to think of himself as Lucifer,” Hutchinson said.
“His reputation in Albany among those girls is terrible. He blew through all the available virgins in Albany, all the townies, and he had to bring in girls from other towns. One of the girls became a Buddhist nun.”
“He always knew he was a psychopath. He has no conscience. What he did to these girls beginning in the ’80s was evil. The Mormons say you can’t get married in the temple if you are not a virgin. The most important thing a wife has to offer to a husband is her purity. In those days there was a lot of stigma about anyone who did not possess a hymen on her wedding night. He took a sadistic pleasure out of de-spoiling these girls. It made him feel more accomplished and powerful and served to destroy them more trenchantly, more painfully.”
“In those days, there was a lot of stigma even in the Catholic Church for girls who were not pure. He used a lot of that to keep the girls quiet and manipulate them. My sister fell in love with him and believed she was at least spiritually betrothed to him. She became interested in Buddhism. Keith told her she was a Buddhist goddess from a past life who was meant to be his consort, a student and a partner and he mentored her.”
Gina’s relationship with Raniere continued through her young adulthood, as Gina obtained her GED, graduated from SUNY-Albany, and became more interested in the Dalai Lama. NXIVM used Gina to get close to the Dalai Lama.
“A couple years before she passed away she went to India,” Hutchinson said of her sister. “I met up with her in India. She was there doing a mission for Keith. Keith sent the Bronfman girls including Sara on the same kind of mission.”
“She left a journal. She talks a lot about Keith in the journal,” Hutchinson said of her sister. “(Cult employee) Kristin Keeffe has testified that Keith Raniere discussed suicide with her, showed her images and told her how to do it, showing evidence that he was grooming her to sacrifice herself on her behalf and he was jealous of some of her Buddhist pursuits. And he was interested in using her to make contact with the Dalai Lama.”
“They (the Bronfmans) set up a trust, the Dalai Lama Trust and they put a million dollars in that trust. It was a direct payment,” Hutchinson said, noting that NXIVM paid the Dalai Lama through a monk that Sara Bronfman spent time with in a hot tub.
The Dalai Lama appeared in Albany in 2009 for a $1 million payment from NXIVM.
“The whole game with Keith was whoever could venerate him best won the prize. The cult was about venerating Keith. He put girls in competition with each other. This was the way he wanted Gina to venerate him and sacrifice herself to him. She died for it. She was at the Buddhist monastery. He put her up to taking videos, to spy on the Buddhists at the KTB monastery in Woodstock, New York, an hour south of Albany,” Hutchinson said.
“I perceived that he was very attracted to much younger girls, and he was a pedophile,” Hutchinson said, noting that Raniere wanted to use Hutchinson’s movie producer ex-husband as a connection to make a movie about himself.
“Keith perceived himself as a superior being and he wanted virgin sacrifices to venerate himself,” Raniere said.
“Keith would hold court, he would act like a Jesus figure with the teeny bopper acolytes sitting at his feet. Gina was his most devoted.”
“He was always insanely jealous. He demanded that the girls be devoted to him only. Gina finally got a boyfriend closer to her age. He went apeshit. He threw a fit,” Hutchinson said, noting that Raniere was also jealous of Gina’s lotus blossom tattoos, which he perceived to represent a repudiation of him.
“Gina for years thought she was the only one and she thought Keith was going to lead her to enlightenment in the next life by becoming his consort.”
“Our family thought they would marry. I was the only one aware that she actually lost her virginity. Eventually she found out that he was not only having sex with her but also all the friends she was espousing him to as this great teacher.”
“When she came back a couple months before she died she went on the NXIVM diet. She was down to skin and bones. Her hair was dyed blonde like Nazi color.”
Hutchinson said that Keith Raniere taught a special lesson in some of his courses, on “when it’s appropriate to commit suicide.”
‘MAYS WAS THEIR CONDUIT BETWEEN THEM AND THE CLINTONS’
“I was hired as a consultant by NXIVM in October of 2003 and worked for them for 15 months and quit in early January, right before first of year in 2005. My role was to find other people to help them,” Joe O’Hara told National File.
“That included lobbyists like Doug Rutnik. I identified Doug Rutnik as a potential hire for them and they eventually hired him,” O’Hara said.
“Raniere had entered into a consent decree with the New York state attorney general to pay something like 50 thousand dollars. It was in the 40 to 50 thousand dollar range. Like everything Raniere did he signed the agreement and never made the payments,” O’Hara said.
“I knew Doug Rutnik had good contacts with the NY state attorney general and I identified him as somebody who got facilitate that arrangement,” O’Hara said. “I had been friends with Doug for years, and I knew Doug’s pedigree and his resume. I knew him as someone who had very good Democratic contacts in New York state.”
“I reached out to Doug. Doug was hired by NXIVM, and I know that Raniere delivered a check for the amount that he owed and for what I know the matter was settled. I was a facilitator. NXIVM/Raniere identified a problem, I would identify a potential solution, and they would decide. They had a PR problem. I suggested they hired Ann Richards’ firm, they interviewed Ann Richards’ firm and decided not to hire them.”
“Before Doug would agree to be hired. We had lunch at the Fort Orange Club — Doug, myself, Raniere and Nancy Salzman,” O’Hara said, pinpointing the date of the meeting as “probably fall of 2003.”
“Raniere had on a sportcoat and tie. He was engaging. Doug had a lot of questions. Raniere seemed to be fairly forthcoming. Nothing was resolved at the lunch. My role was to bring people together.”
“They talked about operating an educational institution, so we were concerned if they were operating an unlicensed educational facility…We were concerned about whether or not they needed to be licensed so we hired an attorney to take one of their 5-day classes. We got a report back from him and they agreed it was inconclusive. Doug suggested we hire his second cousin Gwenn Belcourt to also take a 5-day course. That was the way in which Gwenn got involved,” O’Hara said.
“The first attorney was like I don’t want to ever see these people again, they’re weird. Gwenn was enthusiastic about the 5-day training she had gone through. She started taking classes…she started taking classes on her own. I don’t know if she got a certain colored scarf. She became more involved.”
“She, Nancy, befriended her and became close with her socially as well. Whatever classes Nancy was taking that Gwenn was taking, Gwenn became involved beyond the extent to which we paid her to attend classes,” O’Hara said.
“One of the meetings I had with Keith and Nancy at Nancy’s house, this young woman came in, Loretta Garza. I didn’t know who she was or where she was from. She was bringing back some dry cleaning for Nancy. I observed this conversation with Keith, I found out shew was one of the people who was having immigration problems.”
“They had another student who had some sort of immigration problem, and I identified a local law firm in Albany that dealt with immigration issues to meet with a senior partner at the firm, to work on the immigration issue. I did facilitate a meeting between NXIVM and another contact that I had that they ended up hiring this firm to work on this immigration problem,” O’Hara said, referring to the Osterman and Whiteman law firm.
“They had applied for some sort of visa for this person and it had been denied and they were going through an appeals process. This was a person from Mexico.”
O’Hara eventually resigned from the organization after some illegally-obtained garbage from one of the cult’s enemies was sent to O’Hara’s office, making him aware of the extent to which Raniere and Bronfman were collecting dirt on their adversaries.
O’Hara also introduced Keith Raniere to Bill Clinton’s fixer, Richard Mays.
“Raniere had been charged by the Attorney’s general office in Arkansas. This goes back pre-NXIVM in the Consumer Buyline days of running a pyramid operation,” O’Hara said, referring to Raniere’s previous failed company.
“He wanted to have his name cleared in Arkansas. When they identified this problem in Arkansas I said Richard Mays is your guy. They met Richard and they hired him.”
“Mays was their conduit between them and the Clintons,” O’Hara said.
Mays, a Little Rock attorney who served on the Arkansas Supreme Court, has been a close friend of the Clintons for decades, as evidenced by a 1997 New York Times article exposing how Mays set up a White House meeting for one of his clients, a convicted felon named Eric Wynn.
“When I resigned, they tried to hire me back, I told them I wasn’t coming back, they used Mays as the threat. If you don’t come back if you insist on leaving here’s what’s going to happen. Mays became more of a threat and enemy even though I was the guy who brought him in.”
“They were going to sue me — and of course they did — everything he threatened they did. They sued me, and eventually forced my company into bankruptcy.”
“They were very powerful. one of the ironies is, before I became involved with them they had no political contacts, they had issues with the local zoning board, so on politics they had problems, they didn’t have any contacts, they didn’t know anybody, I created for them the machine that eventually destroyed me.”
Doug Rutnik’s employment with the NXIVM cult is confirmed by his signature on a 2006 settlement agreement also signed by Clare Bronfman and Nancy Salzman.
“The very first time I ever met Gillibrand she was at an event for Hillary Clinton in the Hall of Springs in the State Park. This was in 2006. I was at a table with a Russian friend and Mike Roohan and his wife. I was on the Democratic committee at the time and was given two comp tickets. Gillibrand came up to me introduced herself and said she was running against John Sweeney. This was before all the stories of his drunken behavior came out. He was still congressman kickass at that time. I promised my support and wished her well. I then commented to Mike that with her baby voice and demeanor that she was a lightweight. Boy was I wrong. But the kicker was when the mixing was over and Clinton went to speak. Gillibrand sat with one of the front tables. Yeah the three front VIP tables were all brought by NXIVM and she was sitting with Nancy Salzman. You can quote me on that,” John Tighe said in an eyewitness statement provided to National File.
Keith Raniere with Richard Mays Photo: Frank Parlato
Raniere and Mays Photo: Frank Parlato
‘MEXICO WAS THEIR CASH COW’
Susan Downes, a former member of the cult, witnessed the cult’s illegal immigration activities and the key role played by political elites, including Emiliano Salinas, son of Carlos Salinas de Gortari, the former Mexican president. Downes was part of the cult from December 2000 to April 2009.
“I knew she was here in the United States. She was sleeping on Clare’s bedroom floor,” Susan Downes told National File, referring to the Mexican illegal sex slave “Sylvia.”
“I couldn’t figure out how Nicki Clyne stayed in the U.S. for so long. Then I found out she married Allison Mack, and I thought: Allison Mack isn’t a lesbian,” Downes said, referring to the marriage between Mack and Canadian actress Clyne.
“They got an apartment together and learned the color of each other’s toothpaste and what they liked in each other’s coffee in case they got called down to customs to get interviewed separately. They got married so he could get his green card,” Downes said, referring to an illegal alien from Mexico who married the niece of a NXIVM elder. “After I left (NXIVM), the state attorney general’s office called me and asked all these questions.”
“A lot of people came in – Dannie (Daniela) Pedilla came in…she married a gentleman named Sean Bergeron so she could stay in the United States. She was one of Keith Raniere’s concubines and became one of the DOS masters,” Downes said, referring to the cult’s brutal DOS sex slave program.
“There was a whole bunch of women who came up from Mexico. In order for them to stay they had to find sponsorships. Loretta Garza, they advertised a job position that she only qualified for and that’s the way they got her to have a working visa. She became the head of Rainbow Cultural Garden.”
“Rainbow Cultural Garden was operating in Mexico and Guatemala and is still operating in France. It’s a children’s program that is very expensive. Children spend time with nannies whose primary language is different — the nannies spent a whole day with them, so the child might be exposed to 7 different nannies a week, and the nanny only speaks that language to them all day long. So the parents are not supposed to interfere with them,” Downes said, describing the cult’s daycare centers overseen by Clare Bronfman.
“The theory is that the child becomes fluent in all these different languages. Keith’s whole theory was how can you go out and attack different countries when you’ve been homogenized into different cultures? We’ll raise children of a rainbow culture. What they’ve found out is that children can’t speak all these different languages.”
“I found out about the young women coming from the LeBaron clan, and then in the testimony when they showed the letter from Rosa Laura, offering up her 15 year old daughter. To me that’s sex trafficking. You’re offering up your daughter to be this chosen one. That’s sex trafficking. You’re brainwashing these women then offering up your kids to be what, pimped out?”
Rosa Laura Junco, an official with the cult whose father is major Mexican newspaper tycoon Alejandro Junco de la Vega, offered her teenage daughter’s virginity to Raniere.
“There was so much money that came across the border in cash,” Downes said.
“Nancy told me before I left, that most Mexicans (members) paid in cash and were bringing the cash across the border and not paying taxes on it,” Downes said, noting that she feared for her life for knowing about the illegal Mexican activity.
“I was sitting in (Nancy Salzman’s) living room in Albany and she would just tell me things, things would just pop out of her mouth. She said, we’re bringing cash across the border from Mexico. I said why? She said, most of the Mexican members pay in cash.”
The NXIVM cult was running the Mexican members’ cash across the border and hiding it in the United States.
“I said how are you going to launder that much money? Then she realized she had told someone who wasn’t part of the criminal enterprise some illegal information.”
“They didn’t have to claim it, they didn’t have to pay taxes on it. Mexico was their cash cow. They made more money in Mexico than in the U.S. and Canada combined. There were more students in Mexico and Central America than there were in the United States and Canada and they charged more in Mexico to take a curriculum than anywhere else.”
“Emiliano (Salinas) and (businessman) Alex Betancourt were like rock stars in Mexico, so people came just to be with them,” Downes said.
“Emiliano was very involved. Alex Betancourt and Emiliano Salinas were hands on every single day. They ran Mexico. They were based in Mexico City and they took over the Monterrey, Mexico school.”
“When I was in, I saw (Emiliano Salinas) all the time. He joined shortly after I did. Whenever they had a big training, every V Week, he was there every year. He was at Harvard finishing up his PhD when he came in,” Downes said.
Downes said that she knew Dr. Brandon Porter, who lost his medical license for his NXIVM work, which included conducting brain research on subjects. Porter reportedly subjected people to a “fright study” while operating under the supervision of Raniere and Bronfman. Downes participated in a five-day NXIVM teaching session in Des Moines, Iowa at Porter’s father’s request.
“Keith Raniere stuck his teeth into Brandon because of Brandon’s training,” Downes said. “Keith stuck his teeth and claws into Brandon long before he finished med school and his phd in research. Keith doesn’t work just by himself. He worked with a whole group of people called the Wolf Pack to get his claws into the Bronfman sisters.”
“Politicians if they did come they came in and out. The person I saw the most with the most influence was Richard Mays out of Arkansas. He was an attorney and a friend of Bill Clinton’s and he did some legal work with Nancy Salzman. I have a picture of him at one of the Meet Triathlons.”
“It’s like come on Richard you can’t lie about the fact you were involved.”
“Joe Bruno, he used to fly around in Bronfman’s jet. Nancy told me she would do exploration meetings – therapy sessions with him — and she would get him massages at her house and stuff like that,” Downes said, referring to former New York Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, a Republican.
“One of the things I heard from people that were in Albany, they went around and had people write checks for (Hillary Clinton’s) campaign and then pay them back in cash. They had all this cash they needed to get rid of. That’s one of the ways they would do it. They would write a check for Hillary’s campaign and then give them a check back in cash.”